White House Is Proposing Its Own Version Of Product Safety Plan

Today the White House will announce its own plan for how to tighten the country’s slack product safety practices. The proposal is being offered as an alternative to the one Congress has come up with, which the White House—along with industry trade groups and Consumer Product Safety Commission head Nancy A. Nord—think is too mean to manufacturers.

The White House version suggests stationing inspectors in other countries to inspect goods before they are shipped to U.S. shores, because “with $2 trillion in imports annually, inspections at the ports had become ineffective.” We’re not sure how the math works on that one—unless sharks or pirates consume large amounts of imports during transit, the same number of goods leave foreign ports and arrive at ours, and having inspectors all in one place where they can work together, instead of spread out in each foreign country, seems a more efficient use of resources. But we’re probably just stupid from too much lead.

The White House plan will also increase the power of the CPSC and the FDA (although we assume, based on where they stand philosophically, to a lesser degree than what Congress is proposing), and will cost lots and lots of money. Budget figures will be released after the President makes the formal announcement sometime today.

“White House to Offer Own Plan on Product Safety” [New York Times]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. savvy999 says:

    All the easier for an inspector to get paid off if he/she is not on US soil. Problem solved!

  2. ARP says:

    You’re not stupid, I think the plan is intentionally inefficient. Show the people you’re doing something, but make it ineffective/inefficient so 1) you don’t offend big business by actually doing something and 2) you can cut it later because it is inefficient/ineffective. Regean used the same tatic with the EPA during the 80′s. He’d overload them with work, and require them to do it in an inefficient manner. Then he’d complain later that they weren’t efficient and just a drag on industry, and cut their budget.

  3. 7j6cei says:

    Ok, wait just a sec…. Were going to put inspectors on non-US soil so that they have no power or over-site? Ya, thats a perfect idea Walmart, good thing you had that conversation with the Prez…

  4. fileunder says:

    we have to inspect things over there, so they don’t inspect things here?
    no, this can’t go badly…

  5. Protector says:

    Nothing more than socialized manufacturing. ;)

  6. fileunder says:

    @fileunder:
    also – at this point, what countries would even let us over?

  7. pkrieger says:

    Are they inspecting the products before they get on the boat, or at the factory? I would think the latter would be a better use of a foreign inspector’s time. Then they would be able to look at source material as well as the end result. For example, they can check the type of paint to make sure it is lead free, or make sure that feed additives aren’t bags of melamine.
    What does inspection before the boat accomplish besides spreading resources out thinner? They can’t prevent products from being placed on a foreign ship, nor do they have any control over where the ship docks.

  8. White House’s plan:
    Consumer Probe (SNL 1976)

  9. synergy says:

    Odds are, the WH will appoint a leader out of whoever over in China hasn’t been executed yet over their lead-paint toys. They have a knack for always placing these oversight organizations in the hands of the very people that they should be throwing in jail/fining/etc.

  10. cde says:

    Actually, that one point is a good idea, mainly because if the items fail the inspection, the company isn’t out off all costs. I.E. they save on shipping and distribution costs.

  11. mac-phisto says:

    wow, is the white house going liberal? i would think this is the perfect opportunity to “deregulate” inspections & then use the savings to provide tax breaks on the sale of stock.

    the bush administration touting government oversight of the private sector? you commies!

  12. Trai_Dep says:

    Distract… Distract… Distract…

    Whoops, time’s run out – it’s the next President’s problem.

    The Iraq Model, in other words. Except the Republicans didn’t lie about the China Poison Train to get inspectors over there.

  13. Jon Karak says:

    Maybe I’m feeling a little tinfoil-hattish, but given all the discussion above, isn’t this just an excuse to plant spies on foreign soil?